Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shanghai Series: Jia Jia Tang Bao 佳家汤包 ♥


吃喝玩樂 Diary of a Growing Boy. This is where I first read about this xiaolongbao joint. I have been following the blog for quite some time now and I have to say, I wish I lived in the Growing Boy’s mouth.

He has been to the classiest and glitziest places, experienced the most exquisite and extravagant flavors, and yet he adores the humble and unassuming hole in the wall that is Jia Jia Tang Bao.

I have the highest regard for the Growing Boy’s taste. So naturally, Jia Jia was the first place that came to mind when I was doing a mental eating itinerary on the plane for the impromptu trip to Shanghai.

This was in January 2010.


IMG_9601蟹粉鮮肉汤包 Crab roe and pork dumplings – just as the Growing Boy promised, the skin is soft and thin, and the juices from the crab roe and pork combo are sweet and heavenly


IMG_9602 純蟹粉汤包 Pure crab roe dumplings – these plump xiaolong-babies far surpass my expectations. See why below.


IMG_9606Nothing else but pure crab meat and pure crab roe. Absolutely no scrimping here. The sweetness of the meat and the artery-clogging deliciousness of the roe sitting on tasty juices oozing with beautiful crab fat flavors. Save me, oh Lipitor!


IMG_9592Cholesterol-laden, heart-stopping, but wickedly delicious crab dumpling meal – an absolute steal at RMB101.50


Sadly, that was in January 2010.

I come back to Jia Jia with the rents on our recent Expo 2010 trip, excited to have them try the beautiful crab roe xiaolong-babies I still dream of until this day.

I order the same dumplings and drink two soups alternately while we wait.


IMG_6027 雞鴨血湯 Chicken duck blood soup – forgettable


IMG_6028紫菜蛋皮湯 Seaweed egg soup – forgettable


Then the dumplings come.

And what a disaster.

The skin is thick and hard, and the fillings taste of grease.

It is sad how things have changed in just barely six months.

The crab roe and pork dumplings now cost RMB22.5 from RMB19.5 earlier this year.

The pure crab roe dumplings now RMB88 from just RMB81.

Around 10% increase in price, 50% decrease in quality.

Jia Jia Tang Bao, you disappoint me so.


Good thing Yang’s Fried Dumpling 小杨生煎 is just across the street. We buy some very delicious pan-fried dumplings 生煎包 to make up for the bad meal. No photos of the hot and crisp and very tasty things as we have them to go. My apologies.


And the search for the best Shanghai xiaolongbao is on again…


Jia Jia Tang Bao 佳家汤包: 90 Huanghe Lu, near Fengyang Lu, Shanghai, China. 黄河路90号, 近凤阳路. Tel: +8621-6327-6878

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